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Failed TV Pilot: "Let's Join Joanie" (1950)

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Failed TV Pilot: "Let's Join Joanie" (1950)

Published 1950

Failed TV pilot from 1950 called "Let's Join Joanie". Two years before she starred in the semi-popular 50's sitcom "I Married Joan", Joan Davis did this unsuccessful pilot. I don't know much about this pilot, Which curiously runs 33 minutes long despite the fact that it features no commercials. Don't watch it expecting comedy gold, But it does have historic value, and is kinda amusing. The picture quality is horrible. I plan to upload a better file, but the picture quality will still suck.

Run time Approx 33 Minutes
Production Company CBS Television Network
Audio/Visual Sound, Black and White


Cast: Joan Davis as Joan Davis


Reviewer: richgoup - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 24, 2012
Subject: Let`s Join Joannie
Failed Pilot.
Original air date: 1950
Cast: Joan Davis (Joanie Davis) and Joe Flynn (Anatole: uncredited).
From IMDB.
This unsold television pilot has entered the public domain.
There is a very good idea in the script; little bit flawless in the lines and holes in the scenario. It missed a Jim Backus style in this sitcom.
Reviewer: cirob - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 16, 2011
Subject: Joan Davis
Great reviews! Great physical schtick in this! And a live audience! I Married Joan episodes can be seen here and:
Reviewer: bgrauman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 28, 2011
Subject: An interesting unaired pilot...
"LET'S JOIN JOANIE" was never telecast on CBS; this was produced "live" (via closed circuit), and kinescoped for consideration by network executives and potential sponsors, hence the 33 minute running time {"let's pull out the 16mm projector and see what we've got here"}. Joan Davis was under contract to CBS in 1950, appearing on their popular radio show, "LEAVE IT TO JOAN". The network wanted to see if she could be just as successful in a slightly disguised TV version of her radio format. However, there were no takers, and her contract ended the following year; but after the success of "I LOVE LUCY", she formed her own production company, and sold herself to NBC (and General Electric) with "I MARRIED JOAN" in 1952 {"If LUCY can do it, so can I!"}.

At the time, CBS was testing dozens of potential live situation comedy shows on kinescope (the only comedies scheduled on the network that season were the weekly "MAMA" and "THE GOLDBERGS", live comedy/dramas from New York, and George Burns & Gracie Allen's live bi-weekly series)- another potential kinescoped pilot was "I LOVE LUCY", in March 1951...and we know what happened with that!

Joan was good at physical comedy, and she demonstrated that she could be just as agile as Lucy could. This "kinnie" may look terrible, but this IS TV history.
Reviewer: jazzfan - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 2, 2010
Subject: Let's Bang Joanie.
Reviewer: EJEFFREY - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 1, 2010
Subject: Credits
Not only was Keith Fowler's named mis-spelled(he also was a late run FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY writer)but musician Lyn Murray had an extra "n" added on.
The very tall broad in the cast was the great Hope Emerson. She was in ADAM'S RIB-lifting Spencer Tracy, CAGED, and TV's "Mother" on PETER GUNN
Reviewer: pkkms - favoritefavorite - October 1, 2010
Subject: Pilots
This failed pilot was right after "I Slept With Joan" and before "I Married Joan".
Reviewer: Earlon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 21, 2010
Subject: A catalog site for Classic TV shows
If you like Classic TV from of the 50's, I found a catalog site that makes it easy to find and watch episodes streaming from at:

There are currently over 400 individual episodes of about 30 different programs, and the site is growing day by day. Check it out!
Reviewer: Dodsworth the Cat - - November 11, 2008
Subject: Credits
Poor Keith Fowler. His name is misspelled in the credits.
Hal Goodman was one of Jack Benny's writers.
Joan's boss is played by Joe Kearns. A lack of credits on the supporting cast seems to be something left over from radio.
Reviewer: Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 11, 2008
Subject: Uh...
...Woah, WTF is this? Well, it's a failed TV pilot from 1950, and it's not bad at all. Primitive, but with a little work it could of been a good series.
Reviewer: Retro_Saiyan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2008
Subject: 5/5 for Historical Value
Failed TV pilots from the 50's are so rare that it's amazing to see one!
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2008
Subject: Yes, I'm Giving Something I Uploaded a Review
Mostly, I review other peoples stuff. However, I sometimes make an exception. This is one of those times.

Now, this looks like a lost gem, doesn't it? After all, Joan Davis was a highly paid radio and movie actress, and her "I Married Joan" series was a fun guilty pleasure. However, while this was believed lost for many years, it really isn't a "gem". In fact, It's pretty dull!

Basically, Joan Davis plays a unmarried woman searching for a man to marry (Note to historians: This premise had been overused by cinema and radio but was fairly new to TV). As with much of her other work, She plays a scatterbrained woman who gets herself into a mess. Of course, This could be fun, but the writing is weak. Scenes drag on going nowhere, and it feels depressingly dated. Strange thing is, In 1950 this might of been acceptable, But it would of been obsolete when "I Love Lucy" deputed in 1951, changing TV forever.

However, Joan Davis instantly makes this worth watching. She can make the lousy comedy seem good with her great comic timing and charm. It's a shame she did so little TV work, since she seems perfectly suited to the medium.

Curiously, Although it features no commercials, it runs at a full 33 minutes, making me wonder if this was ever broadcasted perhaps as part of another program.

Still, If you love failed TV pilots, This is worth a look. The difference between this and "I Married Joan" is incredible, both in writing and production values.
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